Importance of Harmonizing Group Members
A group undertakes most organization’s projects. Groups are assigned specific tasks to achieve in a given period. In some instances, achieving these set objectives is often a difficult task, primarily due to the time factor. However, most groups succeed because group leaders can unite and harmonize the group. Lack of harmony within a group can be a hindrance to achieving. This paper focuses on some group issues basing reference from the case of west coast transit.
Most successful tasks are carried out in group form. A group ensures the sharing of information and leads to maximum results. In a group, members share their insights on the topic at hand. This leads to the development of the best solution ever. However, for a group to achieve its effectiveness, it has to be harmonized. Harmonizing a group means ensuring that each member is on the same page. This is important since group members are individuals who have personal issues. As such, own problems need to be put aside for the success of the group. Therefore, one way of ensuring a group is effective is by making sure that each member puts aside personal issues during group work. If a group has disgruntled, then it is not working efficiently. Therefore, there needs to be an avenue for each group to air their issues. That way, their issues shall be covered, which leads to massive performance. As a group leader, one needs to cultivate the right attitude amongst the group members. Otherwise, they will not be harmonized in tackling the issue at hand. As such, a group harmonization is a crucial tool for ensuring maximum performance.
The group put together by Pete is not entirely capable. For instance, they have a lot of complaints. Some of these complaints have been mixed up with personal issues. Moreover, the team is working under little time, and the management expects the best results. Currently, the organization has been in the wake of unsatisfied workers. They leave for work early and go for their homes late. The project requires the team to work overtime without overpaying. In that sense, the members are unsatisfied.
Furthermore, there are a few employees selected to do the project. Of the selected employee, only one of them took her time to look at the agenda of the project. This shows that the other team members have little interest in the project. This could be understood due to the pressure they are working under. For a group to deliver perfect performance, there needs to be interested in them about the project they are doing. Lack of interest leads to the poor performance of the members. The team leader does not seem to care about the personal issues of the group members. At least he should have addressed the issue of the member who had a broken family. As much as own problems need to be separated from work issues, they can hinder a worker from delivering his/her best. Therefore, Pete should have seen to it that the problems of the member are addressed the best way possible. As such, the group brought together by Pete for the project is inefficient and ineffective.
A group is a collection of individuals with the same mission and objective. They are often strangers at first, but they get to know each other and transit from strangers to team members. They usually work towards a common goal. Therefore they need to be well versed with each other. However, group formation does not just happen all of a sudden. It is a gradual process that takes place in different stages. Bruce Tuckman, a psychologist, came up with the five steps which a group undergoes. (Tuckman, & Jensen, 2010).
The first stage under the model developed by Tuckman is formation. During this stage, the group is in its initial days. Most members have not yet known each other. During this stage, the objectives of the groups are yet to be well defined. As such, the leader needs to play the dominant role here. This is to ensure that the group remains n cohesive and intact. The second stage is called storming. During this stage, members start pushing beyond the boundaries that were established in the first stage. In this stage, the objectives are well defined, and each member knows exactly what they are expected to do. However, it is during this stage that most groups fail. This is because frustrations start to kick in due to the changing scope of working. People may start feeling overwhelmed or overworked with little pay. Problems start arising from this stage, and as a leader, one needs to be competent in problem-solving skills. Otherwise, the whole group shall crumble down is shame without achieved anything at all.
The third stage is called norming. In this stage, people start resolving their differences. They finally realize they have been chosen into that group for a reason. They start keeping their differences aside and start working together for the better of the group. During this stage, they are often free to seek help from each other and often provide constructive feedback for each other. More so, they respect the authority of the group leader and respect him/her. However, it is essential to note that transiting from storming to norming takes the longest time. The fourth stage under the model is called performing. During this stage, there is less disruption from the members. One feels very comfortable to be part of the group at this stage. The member’s hard work finally leads to the achievement of the set goals and objectives. The group leader at this stage can comfortably concentrate on growing and developing individual group members. The last stage under the model is called adjourning. This is often the final stage, where everything has been accomplished. Most group members who had developed close working relationships with each other find this stage often difficult since their future is uncertain. Therefore, the group leader should take the responsibility of assuring the members of their e future.
The group selected by Pete is in the transitioning period between storming and norming. However, it is mostly seen to operate from the second stage, which is storming. A keen look at the member’s conversation, one gets to see a lot of disagreements between them. Most of them are raising personal issues, which is a limitation to practical group work. The members witness a lot of problems. Some are complaining that it is useless to work that much for no pay. The other member suggests that it is unattainable to do what the company expects in the set time frame. These complaints further indicate they are on the second stage. Another indication that they are on the storming stage is the disrespect of the leader’s authority. All these are the indications that they are on the second stage, which is usually the hardest.
The three behavioral profiles for team entry by Schein are tough battler, a friendly helper, and the objective thinker. In the case of the west coast transit case, the tough battler can be seen as Pete. This is because the tough battler, according to Schein model, is often aggressive in dealing with issues. Pete has successfully demonstrated this characteristic in dealing with the members. He acts with so much aggression whenever the members start issuing concerns over the workload and the time frameset. According to the model by Schein, the friendly helper is often the passive group member. He regularly gives extraordinary support to the other group members and is usually very positive in his/her approaches. In our case, Jon Mahoney is a friendly helper. Whenever tension seemed to escalate between the members, he interjects positively by reminding the rest of the team members they were selected for they were the best. He seems to have an extraordinarily positive attitude towards achieving the objectives as long as they concentrate and focus. The objective thinker, according to Scheiner, remains objectively fixed on the goal despite whatever is happening. They are often undeterred by events, and nothing seems to sway them from their point of focus. In the case of the west coast transit issue, Lea Jing is an objective thinker. Despite the chaos rising in the room, she remains silent. She is so observant of everything, and when she speaks, she reminds everyone that she only got one month left before she is shifted into another department. Objective thinkers are often the passive and most reflective members of any group. They are stuck to the mission and the work at hand. They have no time to quarrel or get involved in useless banters that seems to draw them away from the group’s objective. Everything they care about is widely tied to the goals and objectives of the group. All these traits show a profile of characters expected in every group. As such, the group; leader needs to be very well versed in how to handle different characters. This is very crucial since if they are not handled carefully, they lead to the downfall of the group.
An effective communication refers to the efficient passing of information that is received as it was intended to. Effective communication is achieved when the members involved in a conversation understand each other well. Effective communication is always determined in creating a common perception of changing behavior and information acquisition. In the case of the west coast transit case study, the communication was entirely ineffective. The parties involved were not willing to let the other party complete speaking. They were unwilling to accept the information being passed by each other. Ineffective communication was as well witnessed between Pete and Katarina that led to the latter storming out of the room.
Conflicts exist in two forms. There are internal and external conflicts. Internal conflicts refer to when a character is struggling with opposing desires running from within them. On the other hand, external conflict is witnessed when a character struggles with forces beyond their control. In the case of west coast transit, the members are faced with external conflicts. The company wants them to perform, whereas they have been given little time. Other members are facing disputes arising from their marriages. Pete should have acknowledged the existence of conflict among his team. Then, he could have analyzed the disputes from the perspective of the members around. That way, they would get to an amicable solution together.
One specific leadership task that should be encouraged is giving attention to the workers. A leader should always listen to the woes and cries of the members in a group. Moreover, teamwork should be highly encouraged as it leads to the harmonization of the group leading to success. However, the most disruptive behavior that should be discouraged is working for money. Group member needs to see the importance of cooperation and work together. Motivation is a critical factor in the success of any organization. Maslow’s hierarchy of wants drives them. (Saif, Nawaz, & Jan 2012). As such, the best individual motivation Denson should use to satisfy Jing, Mahoney, and Katarina is based on Maslow’s hierarchy of wants. Understanding their desires is the key to motivating them.
Overly, the problems at the west coast transit case can only be solved if the group tasked with the new strategy can be harmonized. Harmonizing that group requires each member to be motivated. Understanding their needs is the best way the leaders can motivate the members to the ultimate success of the group.
Saif, S. K., Nawaz, A., & Jan, F. A. (2012). Predicting job-satisfaction among the academicians of Universities in KPK, Pakistan. Industrial Engineering Letters, 2(2), 34-45.
Tuckman, B. W., & Jensen, M. A. C. (2010). Stages of small-group development revisited. Group Facilitation: A Research & Applications Journal, 10, 43-48.